A warm welcome softens the presence of the plastered, block walls as the visitors enter. “As-salam alaykum” (peace be upon you). The hosts invite their guests to take a seat on the floor mats or sofa. As they sit and discuss sickness, financial difficulties, and other challenges, the hardships of life in Gaza come pouring out.
The father shares of a time when he had a successful woodworking shop that was exporting large quantities of furniture to Israel and Egypt. But today, the borders are closed and the exports are shut down. The economy has teetered to the verge of collapse and the effects are devastating. Short on medicine, electricity, and food, Gazans live inside what is often referred to as an open-air prison. The recent uptick in fighting between Israel and the de facto authority that controls Gaza has only increased their misery.
For many Gazans, life is a battle to survive. Eight out of ten fathers are unemployed. Providing for the needs of their families is a constant struggle, and their hearts ache to see their children hungry. Often, their pantries are stocked with little more than bread for the day. Their fridges hold mostly tomatoes, the cheapest vegetable. Some haven’t eaten meat for months.
Although they barely have enough to eat, these families still extend warm hospitality to CAM contacts and staff members who visit them. They offer their guests strong, Turkish coffee.
As they sip the piping hot liquid, our contacts tell them that Christians in America would like to help bear their burdens and share food with them. Most families are amazed. Their perceptions of Christians begin to change at this act of care and kindness. “The food touches people’s hearts,” shared one of our contacts.
Made possible through the Adopt-A-Family program, the gift of food parcels allows struggling families in Gaza the opportunity to experience the love of Jesus. One recipient shared, “We are like trees, and the Christians have been watering us to help us survive. We really appreciate the support we have been receiving.”
To help support the Adopt-A-Family program, please click below to give a one-time gift or start a monthly sponsorship.